Matt Olson homers twice, Phillies drop game one to the Braves 5-3
The Phillies were without Bryce Harper as they opened up a crucial three game series with the Atlanta Braves last night in South Philadelphia. Harper, who is out indefinitely with a broken thumb, will get surgery today and is optimistic about returning to the lineup six weeks from now in August. Let’s just hope the Phillies are still in contention. It would help if they beat their NL East rivals Atlanta Braves when they come to town, but that didn’t happen last night.
The Phillies dropped game one 5-3 to the Atlanta Braves. Zack Wheeler let up back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning to Travis d’Arnaud and Matt Olson to put the Fightins in a hole early. Olson then struck again in the eighth with another home run off a hanging slider from Bellatti.
What is with Braves first basemen against the Philadelphia Phillies? Matt Olson picking up where Freddie Freeman left off. He has six home runs in eight career games against the Phillies THIS SEASON.
Zack Wheeler was effective and kept the Phillies in the ball game, throwing just over six innings, allowing five hits, and three earned runs, while striking out eight.
Rename the month of June to “Schwarber”
The Phillies were just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position through the first six innings. Thank god for Kyle Schwarber, who went 1-for-3 with a solo shot to tie the ball game in the bottom of the seventh. Schwarber has now hit 11 home runs in the month of June. His career average of a home run every 9.76 at-bats in June is the best in MLB HISTORY for the month among players who have 400 career at-bats. Pretty damn impressive.
- Nick Castellanos: 0-4, 2K
- Odubel Herrera: 0-4, 2K
- Zack Wheeler: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER. 1 BB, 8K
Moniak’s Major League Struggles
On the other side of the spectrum, you have guys like Mickey Moniak, who continue to play fantastic baseball in the minor leagues before getting back up to the show, and then struggling immensely at the plate.
Moniak needs to figure out how to hit a breaking ball. He started in centerfield last night and left two runners in scoring position, once with a strikeout in the fourth inning and one on a weak pop out in the sixth with runners on the corners and the Phillies down one.
Thomson cited Moniak’s familiarity with Lee in the minor leagues as one of the reasons he stayed with Moniak. The manager also said he wanted to hold his right-handed pinch-hitters for later in the game when the Braves could employ their best lefty arms, A.J. Minter and Will Smith.– Jim Salisbury NBC Sports
After the Phillies rode a near 17 scoreless innings streak into last night’s game, Andrew Bellatti let up a dinger to Olson in the eighth and Brad Hand allowed another run in the ninth. Ball game.
The Atlanta Braves are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They are 20-5 in the month of June while the Phillies are 18-17. Zack Wheeler on the mound you have to win this baseball game. Of course, yet another Braves’ first baseman ended up killing the Phillies tonight.
Tonight was a tough loss for the Phillies. They clearly need some help at the bottom of their lineup. Stott did go 2-for-3 tonight, but the Fightins have some major issues in the outfield that they need to figure out before things get out of hand.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies are now 39-36 and eight games back in the National League East. They are three games back in the NL Wild Card. Over the next five games, they will play two of the teams ahead of in the Wild Card chase with Atlanta and St. Louis.
Kyle Wright (8-4, 3.18) will be on the mound for the Braves tonight facing off against Ranger Suarez (6-4, 4.23) in the second game of the three-game series tonight.
Zach Eflin (right knee bruise) was placed on the 15-Day IL (retro June 26th). Bailey Falter will take Eflin’s place in the rotation and will pitch on Friday night.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY